017 – AusAct: The Australian Actor Training Conference 2019

April 2020


Robert Lewis (Charles Sturt University, Australia)
Dominique Sweeney (Charles Sturt University, Australia)
Soseh Yekanians (Charles Sturt University, Australia)


This seventeenth issue of Fusion Journal includes selected articles from the AusAct: The Australian Actor Training 2019 conference, held at Queensland University of Technology on 9–11 August 2019. The concept of the conference emerged as a result of discussions between colleagues in the Acting and Performance discipline at Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga. We were interested in the state of actor training in Australia and the most effective way to discuss this was to create a platform for practitioners, academics and pedagogues to celebrate, interrogate and showcase actor training methods that have been created and developed in Australia.

Performance practitioners, directors, teachers, academics, postgraduate students and performers were invited to attend to discuss and demonstrate their original pedagogies and methodologies that have been developed in Australia and inspired by the environment, land, the Australian performing arts industry, and Australian values and culture. In general, presenters were encouraged to discuss the need for uniquely Australian performer training pedagogy, the link between Australian values and culture and actor training, the role that place, space, environment and land plays in the development of training methods and, finally, the involvement of technology in actor training.

The theme of the 2019 conference, ‘Being Relevant’, called for papers that considered how actor training can maintain its relevance in Australia, as well as drawing upon relevant methods, approaches and aesthetics that reflect contemporary and future Australian actors. It highlighted the fact that not only do we need relevant content and material to reflect the ever-changing social climate, it demonstrated the fact that relevant artists who create works through which they can better connect to the world around them, is needed.

The 2019 conference hosted 21 paper presentations, 13 of which have been published in this edition of Fusion Journal. The conference also included 10 workshops. Presenters discussed intercultural fusion, actors’ health and wellbeing, youth theatre, integrative practices, safe practices and technology in actor training.


Download complete issue | Issue 17: AusAct The Australian Actor Training Conference 2019


AusAct 2019 – Being Relevant
Robert Lewis, Dominique Sweeney and Soseh Yekanians

Keynote Address

Vulnerability in a crisis: Pedagogy, critical reflection and positionality in actor training
Jessica Hartley

Reviewed Articles

Brisbane Junior Theatre’s Abridged Method Acting System
Jack Bradford

Haunted by irrelevance?
Kim Durban

Encouraging actors to see themselves as agents of change: The role of dramaturgs, critics, commentators, academics and activists in actor training in Australia
Bree Hadley and Kathryn Kelly

From ‘methods’ to ‘approaches’: Integrative practices and physiovocality in the digital landscape
Robert Lewis

‘Part of the job’: Actors’ experiences of bullying and harassment
Ian Maxwell, Mark Seton and Marianna Szabó

How can Australian actor training be relevant in a world of 86 per cent unemployment?
Gabrielle Metcalf and Andrew Lewis

Becoming burlesque: Performer training in contemporary burlesque
Lola Montgomery

Virtually relevant: AR/VR and the theatre
Shane Pike

Immunity to change? Attending to symptoms of culture and cultish in the actor’s training regime
Mark Seton

Stomp in Australia
Dominique Sweeney

Reviewed Creative Work

The invisible communicator: A vocal workshop
Angela Punch McGregor

Non-reviewed Article

View from the bridge: Navigating an actor training program through university regulatory frameworks
Mark Radvan

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